Construction site fires are a very real threat. Heating units, sparks from sanders or an electrical issue can cause devastating damage in a short period of time and put workers and properties in danger. According to the United States National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the biggest fires in 2014 occurred at residential properties under construction, killing six workers and injuring 120. The damages exceeded $176 million USD.
What caused these dangerous construction site fires? Five of the incidents involved heating units used for drywall. The fires started because the heating sources were too close to flammable materials. Here are three things you can do to prevent this from happening at your site.
OSHA requires all construction sites to implement fire prevention and protection protocols. All workers should be trained in proper storage and disposal of flammable liquids, use of explosives, machinery that gets hot during use and temporary heater placement. In addition, there should be designated smoking areas, if permitted, away from flammable materials.
To maintain a safe environment, OSHA recommends performing daily site checks. These should include immediate debris removal, providing self-closing metal containers for oily rag disposal and making sure there are plenty of fire extinguishers around the construction site. In addition to preventative measures, workers should know what to do in the event of a construction site fire.
A live video monitoring service can do more than just deter vandalism and theft. It can also help prevent costly damages from a construction site fire. UCIT construction site security operators are trained to look for smoke or flames via outdoor and indoor surveillance cameras. This allows them to call local fire departments and quickly resolve the incident in real time. In some cases, thermal imaging cameras can be used to detect heat.